The Scarecrow By Michael Connelly

Reviewer rating

Format reviewed: Audio
Ready by Peter Giles
11 hours 15 minutes

The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly

Jack McEvoy is a veteran reporter at the LA Times working the cop beat. It is not a good time for the traditional newspaper business and Jack is given his two weeks notice. Just one problem, he thinks he may have stumbled on a serial killer. Jack decides to get his final screw you in and write a prize winning story on his way out.

Things start going wrong almost immediately. It seems that the rookie reporter he is training to be his replacement is trying to steal his scoop. Also, some how, the serial killer seems to know about Jack right away. Of course there are internal newspaper politics, dealing with the police, and problems with his phone and online accounts. Jack and the serial killer end up in a game of cat and mouse, with Jack usually playing the role of mouse. Even as Jack starts to find clues, the bad guy is a few steps ahead. Even though the book is on the long side, I found that the book moves quickly and I was sucked in.

Some nice things about this story were that you get a look inside the life of a reporter, which is a nice switch from cop and detective stories. The main character, Jack, and the character of the serial killer were well constructed. There were a number of twists and surprises in the story, though some of them the reader knew about, but Jack did not.

It is the 2nd Jack McEvoy story, but was stand-alone. The previous story was mentioned, but it was not necessary to have read it. The story was a bit dark, though it involves a serial killer, so I guess that is not too big of a surprise. Some things that weren’t 100% for me: I listened to the audiobook version and the reader was pretty good, though the tone seemed a bit too even and didn’t always carry the emotion. It was a longish story, but the ending came a bit quickly. It was frustrating at times when Jack would do stupid things, like not use his cell phone to call for help before rushing in. Overall, it was an enjoyable story.

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